Why Ford Earnings Tumbled 35%

Ford first quarter profit beats estimates, reiterates 2017 profit outlook
Ford's earnings up 4 percent in early 2017 as profits dip
Author

30 April, 2017

Wall Street expected earnings of 35 cents per share, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Ford said it still expects to post a full-year 2017 pretax profit of around $9 billion, down from a record of $10.4 billion in 2016. In last year's first quarter, the automaker reported $37.7 billion in sales. The company recalled more than 230,000 vehicles because of the risk of engine fires and 210,000 vehicles for defective door latches.

In Asia, Ford said it earned a pretax profit of $US124 million compared with $US220 million for the same period previous year.

Ford Motor Co.'s first-quarter profit fell 35% from a year earlier amid higher costs and weaker US sales, sending the stock down 1.7% in early afternoon trading.

Higher costs had been created by an increase of $467 million in warranty costs, an increase of $176 million in costs of commodities and an increase of $253 million in costs to launch new products.

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Ford delivered 1.7-million vehicles globally in the first quarter, while Daimler delivered 754,300, of which 568,100 were Mercedes-Benz cars. Of Ford's profitable regions (it lost money in South America and Africa), North America had the biggest decline in profitability. Ford's North American market share dropped as it sold fewer vehicles to rental fleets, but it said US sales to individual buyers were up. Ford said Thursday it expects industrywide sales to decrease a little this year and in 2018.

Ford said earlier this month that its first-quarter sales had fallen 4.4% from the same period a year ago to 617,302 vehicles, with auto sales tumbling 22.4% but more profitable SUV and truck sales rising 2.6% and 3.8%, respectively.

Ford plans to cut $3 billion in costs this year and expects profit to rebound in 2018, driven by continued strength in the US pickup-truck market, the rollout of two new full-size SUVs and improving results at Ford Credit. The industry as a whole saw a transaction price increase of $506.

Ford shares closed at $11.60 in New York Wednesday after rising 1.05% on the session, trimming their year-to-date decline to 4.4% compared to a 6.65% gain for the S&P 500 benchmark. Revenue rose slightly as the company sold a higher mix of high-profit trucks and SUVs. Ford's Super Duty pickups came out last fall, for example, so the company will be able to command less for it as this fall rolls around. The European profit was down $258 million from the first quarter of 2016 and the Asia Pacific profit was down $96 million.


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